Senate Dems press for info on any deals from Trump-Putin meeting

Senate Dems press for info on any deals from Trump-Putin meeting
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Senate Democrats are demanding President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE detail what he discussed during a private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the answers are needed to "adequately protect America’s interests."
 
Six Democrats sent a letter to Trump on Tuesday saying Americans "have a right to know" what the two leaders discussed during their closed-door meeting on Monday in Helsinki, Finland.
 
"Just today the Russian Ministry of Defense publicly stated that it is prepared to start implementing an agreement you apparently struck in Helsinki with President Putin, an agreement that neither Congress nor the American people have been informed about," the lawmakers wrote.
 
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They added that lawmakers "cannot afford to be blindsided or outmaneuvered."
 
The letter was signed by Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerVA hospitals mostly drop hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment Democrats call on FTC to investigate allegations of TikTok child privacy violations Lawmakers introduce bill to invest 0 billion in science, tech research MORE (N.Y.) and Democratic Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinFrustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply Democratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight MORE (Ill.) as well as Democratic Sens. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGovernment watchdog: 'No evidence' Pompeo violated Hatch Act with Kansas trips No time to be selling arms to the Philippines Senate panel approves Trump nominee under investigation MORE (N.J.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks Trump signs order targeting social media firms' legal protections On The Money: US tops 100,000 coronavirus deaths with no end in sight | How lawmaker ties helped shape Fed chairman's COVID-19 response | Tenants fear mass evictions MORE (Va.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedBipartisan Senate panel leaders back fund to deter China The Hill's Coronavirus Report: National Portrait Gallery's Kim Sajet says this era rewiring people's relationship with culture, art; Trump's war with Twitter heats up Overnight Defense: Trump to withdraw US from Open Skies Treaty | Pentagon drops ban on recruits who had virus | FBI says Corpus Christi shooting terror-related MORE (R.I.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply Senators offer bill to prevent relief payments from being seized by private debt collectors MORE (Ohio), the top Democrats on the Foreign Relations, Intelligence, Armed Services and Banking Committees, respectively.
 
Democrats want Trump to detail all topics discussing during the meeting, including any "suggestions" Trump made to Putin.

They also want to know about any talk on changing international security agreements, if Trump made any commitments tied to the United States' presence in Syria or military exercises for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

"Mr. President, the answers to these questions are of critical importance to U.S. national security. Answering them in full, without hesitation, will demonstrate that you do still hold America’s interests first," the Democratic senators wrote. 

They added that Trump's "cursory description" of the meeting did not assuage their concerns and "we as a nation must now wonder exactly what you discussed and may have promised to President Putin."

Democrats also want to know if Trump pressed Putin on Russia's annexation of Crimea or for the extradition of the 12 Russian nationals indicted last week for meddling in the 2016 election.

The letter comes after Trump shocked Washington on Monday when he refused to condemn Russia's election meddling during a joint press conference with Putin. Trump tried to walk back his comments on Tuesday amid a political firestorm, saying he accepts the intelligence community's finding that Russia interfered in the election.

But muddling his message, Trump added that it "could be other people also."

The Senate is debating passing new sanctions legislation targeting Russia in the wake of the Helsinki summit and last week's indictment. 

Democrats added on Tuesday that in addition to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Government watchdog: 'No evidence' Pompeo violated Hatch Act with Kansas trips Inspector general fired over leaks had been cleared of wrongdoing before ouster: report MORE, who is slated to testify before the Foreign Relations Committee next week, they also want U.S. ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, a high-ranking intelligence official and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to testify.